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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2 - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Perminder Purewal, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4537 | Email: Perminder.Purewal@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

24.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

No apologies were received. There were no substitutions.

25.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting. Interests are defined on the inside cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Bellamy declared a non-pecuniary interest as she is the CEO of LVE Charitable Foundation - a charity in the Borough that deals with young people and gang violence. Notwithstanding her interest in the agenda items, Councillor Karen Bellamy was able to remain in the room and participate in the meeting.

26.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 4 December 2019 were agreed by the Committee and signed by the Chair.

27.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Members of the public are welcome to participate in scrutiny meetings.  You may speak for three minutes on a topic related to the Committee’s work, and fifteen minutes in total is allowed for public speaking, at the discretion of the Chair.  If you would like to speak, please contact Democratic  ...  view the full agenda text for item 27.

Minutes:

None.

28.

BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVES IN OTHER LONDON BOROUGHS pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Sarah Hayward, Director of Violence Reduction Network, London Borough of Croydon and  Karina Wane, Assistant Director, Violence Reduction Unit, Greater London Authority. She invited both to outline their experience in respect to community safety.

 

Karina Wane informed the committee that Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) had expanded in the past year, with several new appointments. £ 7 million had been provided by the Home Office with the Mayor match-funding this. The Committee was told that the work plan had been developed with several initiatives aimed at tackling domestic violence, building resilience and developing interventions for young people at risk. The VRU was also in the process of evaluating the violence reduction plans produced by London boroughs, in order to improve consistency and supporting boroughs by sharing best practice. The Committee was informed the VRU had published two reports on the London wide picture, one that reviewed casual factors in violent crime, and the other an analysis of statutory reviews of homicides and violent incidents.

 

The role of the Young Person Action Group was highlighted as a critical element in how the VRU delivered its work, with witnesses commenting that the input of young people was vital to the success of the initiatives. This included making decisions about how funding was distributed to different activities. The Committee was informed that there the VRU had put in place a recruitment process, including panel interview, with young people being paid for their expertise. In response to a question about how youth practitioners could be supported by training, it was highlighted that the contract to develop this offer was out to tender, with it being awarded in April 2020. It would be a consortium approach with different elements focussed on building confidence, and others on how to deliver trauma-informed approaches. 

 

The Portfolio Lead Member for Community Safety acknowledged the support of the Mayor’s Office, highlighting that the Streetbase project in Waltham Forest had been established with funding from the Young Londoner’s Fund.  He commented that the governance of the local violence reduction partnership included the community and young people, and that a key success had been a reduction in persistent absence and knife crime offences. He highlighted that there was an ambition to sustain and build on the local successes, and he believed the infrastructure was in place to achieve this.

 

The Director of Violence Reduction Network, London Borough of Croydon informed the Committee that violence had peaked in 2016 in Croydon. This had led to the creation of the Violence Reduction Network, which had conducted a review of 60 vulnerable adolescences to identify common factors. The Committee heard that there were often complex inter-dependencies in relation to violence and vulnerability, including modern slavery and county lines. An action plan had been developed in response to the report findings, and a conference held with key partners to develop a public health response to violence reduction. It was noted that this action plan and response included tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), criminal exploitation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

CONNECTING COMMUNITIES pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Rhona Cadenhead, Strategic Director for Corporate Development, and Sal Asghar, Head of Service for Connecting Communities & Life Chances introduced the report. The Committee was provided with an update on the progress of the programme, as set out in the report, and it was noted that a report would go to Cabinet in June or July 2020.

 

The Committee commented that there was a need to improve engagement with councillors, so there was earlier notification in respect to network events. The Portfolio Lead Member for Community Safety acknowledged the early stages of the pilot had been delivered in haste, and he informed the Committee a variety of approaches had been tried to engage councillors, including regular Connecting Communities Champions meetings. Engagement had been variable, and he commented that he would consider further what might suit councillor needs in respect to being kept informed and involved.

 

The Committee was informed that the next phase of the programme would build on the community engagement that had been undertaken to date and tackle some of the integration issues that had been identified. Officers reflected that there were opportunities to build micro-networks to address specific themes. It was also highlighted that there was a legacy workshop planned to discuss how the programme could be embedded into business as usual for services. The Committee was informed that research had been undertaken into barriers to participating with English as a Second Language (ESOL) training. Childcare had been identified as a specific issues, and the Committee was supportive of options being explored to provide this.

 

The Committee raised a question about projects funded through the Community Bank initiative. It was informed that decisions were made by a panel of seven representatives, and the Head of Service for Connecting Communities & Life Chances agreed to share the outcomes of the funding round. 

 

The Committee discussed the specific actions undertaken to support economically inactive women. The Head of Service for Connecting Communities & Life Chances commented that work was being undertaken through the Think Work programme, though the evaluation and research the team had conducted had identified there was more required in this area, and it would be require further development. It was agreed the research could be shared with the Committee.

 

The Committee was informed that there was ongoing work to engage schools with the Advanced Life Skills workstream. It was confirmed that 3 secondary schools had signed up to it for the spring and summer term: Holy Family, Walthamstow Academy and Highams Park. A further group of schools would be engaged for the autumn term. 

Recommendations:

 

That councillor engagement for the Connecting Communities programme is reviewed to improve notice given on network events.

 

That services investigate the need for childcare to support ESOL training in order to improve engagement.

 

Actions:

 

Details of the community bank funding outcomes to be shared with the Committee

Research on barriers to employment for economically inactive women to be shared with Committee

 

 

 

 

 

30.

POSITIVE PROMOTION OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA - COMMUNICATIONS pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee agreed to defer this item to its next meeting.

31.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Andrew Spragg, Scrutiny Officer introduced the report and asked the Committee to note their action tracker and forward plan. The Chair provided an update on the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) themed review, informing the Committee that the themed review group had met with survivors of domestic violence. A further roundtable event was planned in March and the Chair would draft some initial recommendations to share with the Committee for the next meeting as part of an interim report.